Dr. J. Westover: ”Belarusian IT Companies Need to Work Extra Hard to Attract Top Talent“

Dr. Jonathan Westover (USA) held the second session of the Strategic Human Capital Leadership training series in Belarus HTP on June 12, 2012. The seminar was devoted to employee motivation. The job characteristics, motivating factors, Pike Place Market and Fish philosophy were the key points of his presentation.

Mr. Westover combines the roles of a happy father and an Assistant Professor of Management in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. He is also an HR Development and Performance Management Consultant. The lector is passionate about teaching, loves to conduct research, and enjoys writing in all styles — from academic, to op-ed, to other creative writing projects. You can read his blog entitled To Minsk and Beyond!

Consulting in Boeing, LG and other companies, Jonathan Westover has gained a valuable experience in Human Capital Leadership, Recruiting & Selection.

After the face-to-face session we took an online-interview to discuss the problems of the hiring process and work experience, trying to analyze the situation in Belarus HRM together with Dr. Westover.

HTP: You have worked on many positions in different places. What is the main rule or idea, you have been taught for that period of time? Could you share your thoughts on this matter?

Dr. Westover: I have worked in a wide variety of work environments, each with its own unique culture… as I mentioned today, it is very common for people in the U.S. to start working young. I started delivering newspapers when I was 10, I was a waiter when I was 15, I did a variety of jobs in a grocery store when I was 17, I worked in a factory, in multiple call centers, in construction, all before I started doing the types of work related to teaching and research. But I have learned a great deal from each working experience, learning about myself and what motivates me, what leadership/management styles I respond best to, etc. Most importantly, working from a young age has taught me a strong work ethic and to take initiative in any job I have.

HTP: How do you manage to understand the needs of the company you consult to find a highly qualified specialist in IT-sphere, for example?

Dr. Westover: Obviously there is a labor shortage in the IT industry in Belarus, so companies need to work extra hard to attract/recruit top talent. They need to create an inviting work environment for such specialists (more than just good pay) and then work hard to keep the new employee once hired. If companies aren’t able to distinguish/differentiate themselves as ”the“ place to work as an IT specialist, it will be difficult to attract and retain top talent (in a fast growing, quickly adapting industry such as IT). Companies should also look to some of the ”Moneyball“ principles we discussed in the lecture last week to help them identify the ”undervalued“ talent that can help their team.

HTP: What are the main criteria for the effective hiring process in IT in the USA? For example, in Google Corporation?

Dr. Westover: This is related to the lecture last week. There is no secret. You need to make your company an attractive place to work. In part, that means paying well to attract the best. But beyond that, you need to create a destination workplace where employees want to go. At Google, IT specialists get paid well, have a fun/collaborative work environment, have lots of autonomy, but they also get to work on awesome new innovative projects with the best equipment available. So Google has no problem attracting applicants. If all a company focuses on is high pay, they will not be able to attract and retain the top talent. If they don’t pay above the market, they can’t hope to get the top talent.

HTP: What strategies of employee motivation would work in Belarus IT-market, in your opinion?

Dr. Westover: Everything we discussed in the lecture yesterday would work in the Belarus IT market. I strongly believe that… skill variety, task identify, task significance, autonomy, and feedback… also mastering and purpose… these can be applied to any organization in any industry, and most certainly IT (such as the case at Google, which applies these each so well).

Source: HTP Belarus
CATEGORY: Interview
 
 

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